Nashville SC acquires David Accam in trade with the Columbus Crew

Photo courtesy Columbus Crew SC.

From club release:

NASHVILLE (May 16, 2019) – Nashville Soccer Club will acquire Major League Soccer winger David Accam from Columbus Crew SC for $350,000 in General Allocation Money and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. The deal will be made official with Major League Soccer on January 1, 2020, and Accam will continue to play for Crew SC in 2019.

“The 2019 season is a one-year runway for us to prepare for the 2020 MLS season, and our staff has been really thoughtful about how our roster will be constructed,” said Nashville SC GM Mike Jacobs. “The idea of adding players is not necessarily about simply finding ‘good players’, but rather about finding ‘players that are good for Nashville.’ The scouting and recruitment of prospects has been really diligent, and our staff have been very strategic about identifying players that we believe will enable us to pursue excellence.”

Accam, 28, is a Ghanaian international and has scored 38 career goals in MLS since joining the league in 2015. As a member of the Chicago Fire from 2015-17, Accam scored 33 goals and added 15 assists in three seasons, including a career high 14 goals and eight assists in 2017. After spending the 2018 season and the beginning of this season with the Philadelphia Union, Accam was traded from Philadelphia to Columbus on May 8.

He has gotten off to a fast start in 2019, with four goals and two assists in just eight appearances for the Union and one for Crew SC. He was named the MLS Player of the Week in Week 4 following a two-goal, one-assist performance in a 3-0 win with Philadelphia over Columbus on March 23.

“David is a very exciting player,” said Smith. “He has exceptionally good pace, he’s shown throughout his career that he’s a good creator, able to get himself on the score sheet and be a difference-maker in front of goal. He is an incredibly exciting player for the club to have landed.”

Accam made his international debut with Ghana on January 19, 2015 in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, helping Ghana to a runner-up finish at the tournament. In all, Accam has made nine caps for Ghana at the international level, including his most recent appearance against the USA on July 1, 2017.

The Ghanaian forward started his professional career in Sweden in 2012, signing with Ostersunds FK in the Swedish third division. After scoring nine goals in 14 appearances, Accam was transferred to Helsingborgs IF of Sweden’s top division, Allsvenskan, for 2 million SEK, at the time the highest transfer fee for a player from the third division in Swedish soccer history. Between 2012 and 2014 with Helsingborgs IF, Accam made 62 appearances and scored 30 goals.

In the 2012-13 season with Helsingborgs IF, Accam made two UEFA Champions League qualifying appearances and six Europa League group stage appearances.

Perhaps coincidentally (perhaps not!), he’s the second player in the past two weeks who joins Nashville SC after beginning the year with the Philadelphia Union, and the second Ghanaian in that category, as well.

Given that he won’t join the team until after the 2019 season, he does fit into a different category than Derrick Jones, who has already appeared for the USL side. He’s also a much higher-profile guy on the whole, of course. He’s also quite a bit more expensive: $450k in total allocation money is a pretty penny, and pretty close to what the Crew acquired him for a week ago: they paid 50k more in TAM and also gave up an international roster spot (that’s essentially their acquisition cost to have him available for the rest of the season). In allocation-for-player trades, it puts him about on-par in value with CJ Sapong in the past year.

Accam made $1.25 million from the Union last year, and assuming he’s in a comparable range when he joins Nashville SC, will be either a Designated Player (each team gets three), or will have his budget charge bought down to the individual player salary cap. We don’t know how much allocation money expansion teams get for trade/signing purposes (and that’s by design, so it’s unlikely we ever do find out).

I’ll have a full breakdown of his game résumé and game… later. Tough stretch of the season to be writing up a bunch of player profiles (midweek games four weeks in a row). As of the weekend’s games, he has four goals and two assists for the Union and Crew, on an xG of 2.2 and xA of 0.5.

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